Our garden has exploded with tomatoes this year. We literally cannot eat them fast enough. When I counted 30 beautiful, bright red tomatoes on the counter, I knew it was time for salsa. On average, I will can about 20 jars of salsa each year. We give away a few jars to our parents and friends, and the rest goes into the pantry to enjoy throughout the year. If canning seems daunting to you, check out this post about the basics for canning at home or download The Chopping Block’s Guide to Preserving Food and learn some excellent tips and tricks from the pros.
I love this salsa recipe because it is so flavorful. It’s delicious as a snack with tortilla chips; a topping for tacos, burritos, and the like; an awesome substitute for tomatoes, onions, and peppers in a small batch of chili; or even just adding a jar to some cooked pasta and smoked sausage with a little pasta water is a perfect quick meal.
After canning, this salsa reaches its peak flavor at least one week after it is canned (and it keeps getting better). I’m sharing the mild version – it is not spicy at all, but you can easily make it medium or hot by adding more jalapeño peppers. For medium salsa, double the jalapeños. For hot salsa, triple the jalapeños and leave the membrane and seeds.
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yields: 7 pints
12 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 large onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup white vinegar
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large pot, mix all ingredients except cilantro.
2. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for an hour or until thick. Add cilantro when cooking is complete.
3. Using an immersion blender, pulse throughout salsa until desired texture is achieved.
4. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving an inch of head space. Wipe jars, and top with lids. Hand-tighten the lids, being careful not to tighten too much, so they seal properly.
5. In a very large stock pot, line the bottom with a rack so the jars will not touch the bottom of the pot. Fill with hot water so when the jars are added the water is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring to boil.
6. Carefully add jars to water and place lid on pot. Process jars for 10 minutes and remove from water. Cool on a rack.
7. In a couple of hours, check to see that the lids are sealed by pressing on each one, it should not move. Let cool completely, tighten the lids, and store in pantry for up to 18 months. If any of your jars did not seal, just process them again. Or if one jar didn’t seal, just put it in the fridge and wait a week before you open it to enjoy.
Because I had 30 tomatoes, I made 2-1/2 batches of this recipe and ended up cooking it for 2 hours. I was able to make 17 jars of salsa! It is a truly rewarding feeling, seeing what you’ve grown turn into fruit, then into salsa, and finally preserved for you to enjoy throughout the upcoming year.
Learn ways to utilize salsa in our virtual Family Night Cook Along: Mexican Fiesta class coming up on Friday, September 4th at 5pm CST. If you are in Chicago, you can join us on our outdoor grilling patio at Lincoln Square for Grilling Fiesta on Friday, September 11 at 6pm. Learn how to make a tomatillo salsa in our virtual cooking demonstration of Shrimp and Black Bean Tostadas on Wednesday, September 30 at 6pm CST.